The [Wednesday] Papers
Bits and pieces.
How about all those desks Chicago cops supposedly aren't using anymore?
* Apparently he was not asked about trying to avoid sitting for a deposition about Jon Burge, which is only the most pressing issue before him right now.
But it's good to know he misses the people.
* "Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is coming to Chicago to help raise money for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign at a $35,800-per-ticket fundraiser next month at the North Shore home of investment banker Byron Trott, according to a draft invitation," Crain's reports.
"Mr. Trott, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner whom Mr. Buffett has called his favorite investment banker, isn't known as an outspoken Obama supporter. Over the years, Mr. Trott has donated to both Republican and Democratic candidates running for national office, according to campaign finance records.
"Among his latest disclosed contributions, in June, was $2,500 to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination. During the last presidential campaign, Mr. Trott's donations were spread among Messrs. Romney and Obama, as well as Republican nominee John McCain."
Maybe he doesn't see a difference.
Trying to set a record for losing money in the most countries at the same time.
Because nobody's figured out who the wireless alderman is yet.
* "Many of the top-earning lobbyists have ties to top city and state politicians," the Tribune reports.
"For example, onetime Emanuel attorney Michael Kasper and his associates, Courtney Nottage and David Dring, are listed as taking in nearly $236,000 to lobby the mayor, aldermen and others during the six-month period, the data show. Among the firm's clients were Advocate Health Care Network, Apple Inc. and the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a nonprofit that runs 19 public 'turnaround' schools Emanuel's schools chief has praised.
"Kasper, the state Democratic Party's lawyer, fended off a challenge to Emanuel's residency during the mayoral campaign. Nottage, also an attorney, was chief of staff for former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr. Dring was spokesman for state House Republican leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego.
"Those connections are touted on Kasper's consulting firm's website, and the firm's city disclosure practices result in triple reporting of some of its income, which pushes Kasper, Nottage and Dring onto the list of top-10 earners."
But hey, it's all just a coincidence.
"If (former Cook County State's Attorney) Dick Devine calls you up and asks you for a meeting, you are going to grant him the meeting, if for no other reason than he's Dick Devine," Ald. Joe Moore said.
Why? Just say no. It's that easy.
"If you have got a lobbyist who has good relationships with people in power, it gives you an edge," Moore added. "It doesn't guarantee the results."
An edge is what clients pay for. It's like rich kids who say that their daddy may have gotten them the interview, but they had to get the job. Think about how many people don't get the interview; that's half the battle. A foot in the door is a foot in the door others aren't granted.
"Another listed lobbyist with a tie to the mayor is Demetrius Carney, who was paid $84,000 during the six-month period, the data show. The money came from the Hudson Group, which has concessions at O'Hare and Midway airport.
"Emanuel recently reappointed Carney as president of the Chicago Police Board, an agency that reviews how Chicago cops are disciplined. As president, Carney was being paid $25,000 a year, but Emanuel cut that annual stipend by $15,000.
"Carney has done legal work for the city, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Board of Education and Chicago Housing Authority, according to his online biography."
"He did not return calls seeking comment."
In other words, the recently reappointed president of the feckless police board refused to answer questions about his politicking of and legal representation for various city agencies and possible conflicts of interests therein as he tries to preserve his relationships with people in power. Maybe say it that way.
"Politics is no different than any other business, in that relationships play an important role, and good lobbyists build those relationships," Moore said.
"Moore wasn't naming names, but his description fits zoning and land use lawyer Langdon Neal, a paid political appointee whose family has been involved in city government for three generations. In the corridors of City Hall, he's on a first-name basis with aldermen."
And Neal would never want to impair his relationships with those folks even as he double as chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections.
"The decisions Neal makes on the election board have the potential to impact some of the same politicians he tries to influence on zoning cases.
"His firm handled zoning issues on behalf of the Chicago Public Building Commission, which handles construction projects for the city and county; the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns Navy Pier and McCormick Place; the Chicago Public Schools; and corporations ranging from Wal-Mart to nonprofit hospitals.
"The city, meanwhile, has paid Neal's firm more than $4.3 million since the start of 2010, city records indicate. That work was related to city land acquisition, mostly for the expansion of O'Hare, Neal said.
"On top of his day job, Neal gets about $91,000 a year as elections chairman. 'I do the job as a public service,' said Neal, who was first appointed to the job by Cook County's chief judge in 1997."
Oh, thank you so much! We're so grateful! And for just $91,000 a year, bless you!
"Neal said he would never even think of using his election board power to pressure city officials."
Because that's just not how Chicago works.
The Beachwood Tip Line: An open door.
Posted on September 21, 2011
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